Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: Yemeni airstrikes kill at least ten people; fighting in Zinjibar kills three Yemeni soldiers

Horn of Africa: Two Ugandans plead guilty to bomb attacks; Turkey delivers aid to al Shabaab-controlled refugee camp; Dutch authorities identify al Shabaab members in Europe; al Shabaab claims no link to the capture of Brit

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni forces conducted airstrikes in the Arhab district, located on the outskirts of Sana’a.  Local residents report that at least six of the dead were women and children and that 17 others were wounded, two of them critically. Abdul Janadi, Yemen’s deputy information minister, said, “Armed tribes are attacking military posts and the government only attacks those who are armed and are seeking to enter its bases…. The tribal fighters are supported by the opposition parties and those military leaders who defected from the Yemeni army.” Sources report that over 30 Republican Guard tanks and armored vehicles had reinforced positions in Arhab. Fighting is ongoing in the area, and nine people have been killed in clashes over the past two days.[1]
  • Al Qaeda-linked militants continue to fight the Yemeni army for control of Zinjibar. Militants killed three Yemeni soldiers and wounded five others. Local residents reported that al Qaeda-linked militants were re-entering Zinjibar from the nearby city of Jaar.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Two Ugandans, Edris Nsubuga and Muhamoud Mugisha, pled guilty to charges that they participated in the bombing in Kampala, Uganda on July 11, 2010.  Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was retaliation for Uganda’s role in supporting the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).  Mugisha said that he worked with al Shabaab leaders in different countries including Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda.[3]
  • Turkish officials brought aid to the al Shabaab-controlled al Yassir internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in the Lower Shabelle region.  This marks the first time that Turkey has delivered aid to an al Shabaab IDP camp.[4]
  • Dutch official Jan kees Goet identified a Dutch national of Somali origin and two others as members of al Shabaab.  The three men traveled to Somali through Kenya last year.  He further said that the country’s intelligence agency had identified ten European Muslim youths who had travelled to Somalia to fight for al Shabaab.  Many of them were receiving training in Somalia, Yemen and other countries that would make them extremely dangerous if they came back to Europe.[5]
  • An al Shabaab official said that the group had no part in the killing of David Tebbutt and abduction of his wife Judith from the Kiwayu Safari Village Resort on the island of Lamu in Kenya, just south of the Somali border.  An al Shabaab recruiting officer, married to a senior al Shabaab official, added that Judith Tebbutt had been taken to Kismayo, a major port city and that the attack had been carried out by a pirate-financed militia normally sympathetic to al Shabaab.  The kidnappers intend to ask for a ransom for the woman.[6]


[1] Hakim Almasmari, “10 Killed in Government Air Attacks Outside Sanaa, Yemen,” CNN, September 13, 2011. Available:
“’9 Killed’ in Clashes Near Yemen Capital,” AFP, September 14, 2011. Available:
[2] Fawaz al Haidari, “Yemen battles militants in south as US warns of Qaeda threat,” AFP, September 12, 2011. Available:
[3] “Kampala bomb suspects trial continues,” New Vision Online, September 13, 2011. Available:
[4] “Turkish delegates bring aid to Shabab controedl [sic] area in lower shabelle region,” Mareeg Online, September 13, 2011. Available:
[5] “Netherlands identify active members of Al-Shabaab in EU countries,” Bar Kulan, September 13, 2011. Available:
[6] Feisal Omar, “Somalia's al Shabaab says not behind kidnap of Briton,” Reuters, September 14, 2011. Available:
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